Considering Pet Friendly Hotels? See How Your Dog Sees It

hotel room door with tag

Some pet owners can take their dogs with them literally everywhere. You may see those people with dogs in their purses and think, really, but if you could bring your dog with you everywhere, wouldn't you?

Dog owners may try to bring their pets with them on fun vacations, but this may not be the best way for your dog to spend his time. Even though we want our pets to love visiting a hotel, they don't always experience things the same way we do. Taking your dog to a pet friendly hotel can either mean taking them on a fun vacation or taking them into an anxiety-ridden nightmare. Owners should make sure they know where their dog stands before walking into that hotel lobby with them.

After doing some research, you may realize your dog would do better left at home with a dog sitter rather than taken on vacation. Some dogs would benefit from counterconditioning training, but it all depends on your specific dog's personality.

Pet Friendly Hotels Overview

Pet friendly hotels are a godsend for many pet owners when traveling with an animal. Finding a pet friendly hotel can become quite irritating, especially if there are fees or restrictions along the way.

Even though the term 'pet friendly hotel' sounds simple enough, some hotels can create very complicated rules and standards about the animals they welcome into the building. Every hotel will have its own policy.

Every hotel varies and will usually share its rules somewhere on its website. Even though these hotels should have these rules posted, they may be inaccurate and outdated, so pet owners should always double-check with the hotel's management. You can do this by calling your hotel and asking them their policies, or by waiting until check-in and reminding the receptionist that you have a dog.

Occasionally, pet hotels don't allow animals in certain rooms and will have designated pet friendly rooms. Hotels might decide to assign these rooms in an organized corner or floor of the hotel, and sometimes, they are located randomly all over the hotel. If you book your room online, you should definitely double-check with your receptionist that they know you have a dog. It isn't uncommon for hotels to place a guest in a regular room rather than a pet-specific room by mistake. Alerting them about your needs upon arrival can help prevent any accidental mix-ups.

When you book your hotel, you should be able to see any rules the place has for pets. Some hotels will only allow one or two pets maximum. Many pet friendly hotels allow cats and dogs, but they may charge extra fees for bringing in a pet. Luxury hotels typically charge a higher pet fee than less luxurious places, but they also might provide a pet friendly accommodation such as a dog bed.

Even though luxury hotels occasionally provide accommodations, most hotels do not provide them, and pet owners will need to bring a dog bed and dog food for their pup. Anything your dog needs on an average day should go with you to the hotel.

Owners might realize they'll need a crate and some toys for their pets as well. However, many hotels don't allow animals to be alone in the room, and some specifically require that you do not leave your pet alone in the rooms.

Many hotels also limit the variety of pets you can bring to just cats and dogs, so don't plan to bring your parrot. Sometimes a pet friendly hotel will strictly be a dog friendly hotel, and they won't even allow cats. Occasionally hotels will limit a dog's weight to anywhere between 80 pounds and 110 pounds. Some hotels may request that owners provide vaccine documents upon check-in.

The hotels' policies and residents will essentially decide your pets' environment. If you want a luxurious hotel, that's fine, but ensure your dog will meet all their requirements, including size, vaccines, or specific breeds. More common places may have more animals and might cause your dog extra anxiety or get them very excited, depending on their attitude.

dog sitting in a room with a suitcase

What Pet Hotels Mean for Dogs

Pet hotels are a whole different world to dogs. Dogs rarely sleep somewhere besides their homes. Sure, they go outside on walks, they might hike in the woods, go on road trips, visit a family member's farmhouse in the countryside, but they don't really live outside of their homes often. Taking your dog to a hotel is like forcing your dog to live somewhere else.

Hopefully, your dog will feel comfortable and relaxed. They might even be excited about the new environment and all the fresh faces and animals they can see and smell.

On the other hand, your pet might freak out. Socialization doesn't come easy to some dogs, and some have abandonment issues. No matter their baggage, they will be uncomfortable in these hotels.

If you have a social dog who loves meeting other people and animals, a pet friendly hotel might be an excellent time for them. If you have a more anxious pet, your dog might struggle in a pet friendly hotel, but they might also find a way to relax.

Dogs in pet friendly hotels should feel more comfortable, or their owners should try to help make this experience as fun as possible. There are a couple of ways to help a dog have more fun when they are in a new environment, such as a pet friendly hotel.

dog sitting on a bag trolley

What Type of Dog Would Enjoy a Dog Hotel?

If you take your dog to the dog park and watch them befriend every other dog there, chances are they will thrive in a pet hotel. Even if your dog doesn't befriend other dogs, if they enjoy the dog park now and then, your pup has the potential to have tons of fun at a pet friendly hotel.

All pets that have completed socialization training should be great during their stay in a hotel. Pet hotels are busy places bustling with plenty of other dogs, cats, birds, and people. All of this can be overly stimulating to a dog, but some dogs will absolutely love it.

Dogs that thrive in pet friendly hotels are loyal, playful, outgoing, and well-behaved. It's important to have a well-trained dog before taking them to a pet friendly hotel. Other animals, people, and other types of distractions will constantly be around, and you don't want a disobedient pet. Any pets in hotels should most definitely be house-trained and trained to sit, stay, and come on command.

Dogs in pet friendly hotels need to be quiet or at least become quiet when commanded to by their owners. Pet owners might find it very difficult to take their dogs to hotels if they always start a bark riot.

Dogs that have gone through proper socialization training would be great in pet friendly hotels. Animals who have found positive environments when trying new things are more likely to enjoy these areas, especially if their owners constantly accompany them and give positive reinforcement with treats.

dog sitting in a suitcase full of clothes

What Type of Dog Might Not Thrive in Pet Friendly Hotels?

One of the biggest issues about pet hotels is that they can cause a lot of anxiety in dogs who don't like new things. Some dogs suffer from stress and anxiety more than others. Shelter dogs or animals that have experienced traumas like abuse, neglect, or abandonment are much more likely to experience stress and anxiety than the average dog.

Often when something reminds an anxious dog of a traumatic event, they'll respond by showing anxiety symptoms. They might whimper or cower, and often, they will stick their tails between their legs. Dogs with anxiety from experiences like these will probably be very uncomfortable in busy pet hotels.

Animals that aren't well socialized and haven't grown accustomed to meeting other pets and people also would find immense stress in a pet friendly hotel. If you have ever seen your dog panic around loud noises, fireworks, thunderstorms, or around other animals, consider these warning signs that they wouldn't have the most fun visiting hotels.

dog laying on a bed wrapped in a sheet

How to Help a Dog Enjoy Hotels More

Dogs that enjoy pet friendly hotels are well-trained pets that enjoy experiencing new environments and meeting other people and dogs. If your dog doesn't like other animals, this experience will be more than just scary for him.

Even though it seems sad that some dogs don't like new things, owners can easily teach their pets to like new things by training them over long periods of time. Truly, the best way to get your dog to like new things is to take them to as many different environments as possible.

Owners can work with their dogs to encourage them to be more social and outgoing, but this is a long process that needs to be practiced for an extended amount of time before the dog goes to a hotel.

Owners should never force their dogs into situations where they are clearly uncomfortable and should always provide positive environments. Give your dog space when they meet new people or go to a new place and give them verbal praise when they act calmly.

It's important to not chastise your dog for not enjoying new environments and let them take their own time adjusting to something new. Some dogs might require some professional training to help them become less anxious and more social, but that is up to the owner to decide.

Anxious dogs will feel safer in hotels if they have things that remind them of something normal. Providing their regular crate, bed, and blanket to your dog during your travel can give them some peace of mind. Many hotels offer nothing for pets, so owners should also bring their dog's food bowl and water bowl from home to make them feel calmer.

dog sitting on the floor in a hotel room

Why You Shouldn't Go to a Pet Friendly Hotel

Sometimes dogs don't need to come on vacation and are best left at home. If you are going on a short vacation and have no one to watch your dog at home, you shouldn't bring them on vacation just to leave them alone in a hotel room all day.

Hotel rooms often assume owners don't leave their dogs alone anyway, but if you were to do this, leave a do not disturb sign on your door, so your dog's presence shocks no one.

If you plan to be out of your hotel often and not take your dog with you, do not put them through the stress of traveling to a new place. Even if your dog would enjoy a dog hotel, they wouldn't enjoy sitting in a strange empty room all day, and this would likely cause them more stress since their owner is gone and they are in a foreign place.

Instead, consider asking a friend or roommate to watch over your dog. You can also look into hiring a pet sitter or taking your pet to a kennel. This way, when you leave your dog, they won't be alone, and you'll feel better knowing they are safe.

hotel front desk with a bell

Why You Should Consider Going to a Pet Friendly Hotel

Sometimes, owners have no choice but to take their dog to a pet friendly hotel, even if their pooch might not like it. This can happen because you are moving across the country or maybe because you're driving a long distance to adopt your dog. Basically, if you are on a long trip and your dog has to come with you, a dog friendly hotel is one of the best options for your situation.

Even if your dog wouldn't enjoy sleeping at a hotel, it is a far better alternative than sleeping in a tent or in the car with them.

Sometimes dogs are going to be fearful of situations that they aren't used to, but these situations aren't harmful to them. The best thing owners can do in these instances is provide their dogs with methods to calm their nerves so they can try to relax and enjoy a little of the new experiences. Calming dog treats or CBD can help dogs relax and try to enjoy new situations. Owners of dogs with severe anxiety can also ask their vets to prescribe them anti-anxiety medication.

Where to Find Pet Friendly Hotels

There are tons of pet friendly hotel options to pick from across the United States and many pet owners pick the same hotels. For example, Best Western, Motel 6, and Red Roof Inn all allow pets and are popular places. Other popular hotels include the Residence Inn, Hampton Inn, Hilton Inn, and Holiday Inn. When finding a pet friendly room, make sure your furry friend would enjoy that environment.

modern hotel room

Final Thoughts

Pet friendly hotels can be a great option if you are going on a vacation to the beach or mountains and can't wait to take your puppy along with you every day. If you plan on showering your dog with attention and affection, then a pet friendly hotel should be a breeze for them.

Dogs that are well socialized, confident, and calm will do much better in pet friendly hotels than nervous animals would.

Even if your dog doesn't like pet hotels, if you are moving, taking a long trip, or going on a vacation they will spend with you, then your dog can put up with their strange temporary environment.

Owners can help their dogs accommodate these strange environments by bringing along objects to remind their dogs of something familiar. Using the same dog bed, toys, food bowl, and water bowl will give your dog a safe feeling of familiarity.

Many pet hotels have fees and specific rules for allowing pets. Some hotels will ban specific breeds from entering, and some hotels will require an appointment to approve pets staying on the premises. Some luxurious hotels might charge insane prices, while some hotels might allow pets in for free, like Motel 6. A dog's experience at a pet hotel has a large effect based on the way their owner supports them in this environment.

Any animals given constant attention and affection will find pet hotels to be minorly irritating if not exciting and fun environments. Owners will find that calming treats and CBD are excellent ways to help a nervous dog calm down. Providing delicious treats also offers a great incentive for your dog's enthusiasm.

If you want your anxious dog to travel with you regularly, hire a dog behaviorist to help them overcome their anxiety. Dog behaviorists can understand the reason your dog has negative reactions and help them overcome their stress. This means that even families with the most anxious dogs shouldn't lose hope if they want to take them on vacations sometime soon.

Any dog can be happy in a pet hotel as long as its owners understand its comfort levels. It's important always to give your pet lots of attention when traveling with them and always have their tags updated. Owners should get their pets chipped if they can, as it is much safe to travel with a chipped animal.

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